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The Guardian

Latest news, sport, business, comment, analysis and reviews from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice

Qarabag v Chelsea: Champions League – live!

47 min: Eden Hazard attempts to pick out Willian with an ambitious lofted pass towards the edge of the Qarabag penalty area, but it’s intercepted and cleared.

46 min: Chelsea get the second half started. Qarabag have made one change in personnel: midfielder Johshgun Diniyev is on for Mahir Madatov.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 7:04 am

Family of murdered Maltese journalist file lawsuit against police

Family allege Maltese police are failing to carry out impartial investigation into Daphne Caruana Galizia’s killing

The family of the murdered Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was a relentless critic of corruption in the country, are taking legal action against the police force for allegedly failing to ensure the investigation into her killing is impartial and independent.

Caruana Galizia was killed on 16 October after her rental car was blown apart by a powerful explosive device.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:54 am

Syria peace settlement requires compromise by all sides, says Putin

Russian leader meets Iranian and Turkish counterparts amid flurry of diplomatic activity, with US and EU sidelined

A peace settlement to end the six-year Syrian civil war will require compromise by all sides, including the Assad government, Vladimir Putin has said as the presidents of Iran and Turkey arrived in the Black Sea resort of Sochi amid some of the most audacious Russian diplomatic activity in decades.

The summit between three powers deeply involved in the conflict is designed to pave the way for a settlement likely to leave Syria’s Russian- and Iranian-backed president, Bashar al-Assad, in power within a reformed Syrian constitution.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:47 am

Pressure grows on SPD to reconsider coalition talks with Angela Merkel

Leader Martin Schulz has ruled out ‘grand coalition’ but faces calls to drop stance to end Germany’s political paralysis

Germany’s centre left is facing growing pressure to consider talks about a centrist coalition with Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats as Berlin wakes up to the cost of fresh elections in 2018.

Martin Schulz, the leader of the Social Democratic party (SPD), ruled out another “grand coalition” after his party’s worst postwar performance in federal elections in September. He reiterated his stance after the collapse on Sunday of talks about a three-way coalition between the CDU, the Free Democratic party (FDP) and the Greens.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:45 am

Bath university staff vote for senior leaders to resign amid governance row

Report by Higher Education Funding Council for England found a ‘culture of fear’ at the university was damaging reputation

Staff at the University of Bath have voted unanimously for senior leaders to resign, after a standing-room-only meeting was told that “a culture of fear” fostered by its management was hurting Bath’s reputation.

Academics at the meeting also pledged to hold public protests alongside students next week, when the university’s governing council next meets, to show their concern after a damning investigation into senior pay and governance at the university by its regulator earlier this week.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:41 am

George North to leave Northampton and return home to Wales

• Yet to be decided which Welsh region wing will play for next season
• Gloucester flanker Ross Moriarty poised for move to Dragons

George North is leaving Northampton to return to Wales at the end of the season, even though the wingwould not be putting his international career on hold by being based in another country under a new rule that comes into force next season.

Related: George North and Ben Te’o set to miss autumn internationals with injuries

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:26 am

Gibraltar heading for​ abrupt exit from single market, says Spain

Source says Gibraltar would fall outside any Brexit transition deal unless UK agrees deal with Madrid over its future status

Gibraltar is heading for an abrupt exit from the single market without the benefit of any transition deal, according to senior Spanish government sources, who revealed that the British government had failed to offer any proposals on the future of the Rock.

The EU shocked Downing Street in April when it effectively backed Spain in the centuries-old territorial dispute. In guidelines outlining their approach to the Brexit negotiations, the 27 member states insisted Gibraltar would be outside any future trade deal with the UK unless an agreement was reached in advance with Madrid over its future status.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:24 am

Uber failed to tell UK authorities of mass data breach, says No 10

Taxi-hailing firm warned it may face higher fines as inquiry continues into whether UK customers’ details were compromised

UK authorities were unaware of a mass data breach at Uber that potentially put British customers’ personal details into the hands of cyber criminals.

Related: Uber concealed massive hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:20 am

Bosnians divided over Ratko Mladić guilty verdict for war crimes

‘Even if he is sentenced 1,000 times to life in prison, justice would still not be served,’ says victim who lost relatives in massacre

The reaction in Bosnia to the news of Ratko Mladić’s conviction for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity was as divided as the country itself, more than 20 years after the end of the civil wars that followed the break-up of the Yugoslav state.

Among Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) the most common response was relief that the trial was finally over and that Mladić – unlike the Serbian leader, Slobodan Milošević – had lived long enough to hear the guilty verdict. The relief was tinged with regret that justice had been such a long time coming and when it came, it appeared so puny alongside the scale of pain and loss.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:19 am

Asleep on the job: alleged burglar found napping and covered in Doritos

A 46-year-old man has been found sleeping and covered in food in a home he reportedly tried to burgle in Scotland

An alleged burglar appears to have taken the saying “sleeping on the job” literally after passing out with a half-eaten pie and covered in Doritos in a home he reportedly tried to rob near Glasgow.

The 46-year-old man is alleged to have broken in to the house in Coatbridge on Monday night, but to have then been too tired to actually leave. He was eventually discovered by the homeowners, who alerted the police.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:17 am

UK police investigate second Kevin Spacey sexual assault claim

Metropolitan police say they are looking into allegation that Hollywood star assaulted man in Lambeth, London

British police are investigating Kevin Spacey over a second sexual assault allegation, the Guardian understands.

The Metropolitan police said on Wednesday they were looking into the fresh claims against the Hollywood actor, having opened an investigation into similar allegations against him earlier this month.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 6:02 am

US military trio reportedly reassigned after claims of improper conduct on Trump trip

Three US military personnel have been reportedly reassigned from their posts at the White House following allegations that they had improper conduct with women during Donald Trump’s trip to Asia earlier this month.

Related: UN concerned by controversial US plan to revive Afghan militias

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:56 am

Prescribed reading: Five of the best books by doctors

As Adam Kay’s This Is Going to Hurt wins a readers’ choice award, we recommend five other author physicians. Please add to our notes

Congratulations to Adam Kay, who has triumphed in the Books Are My Bag awards as readers’ choice of the year. This Is Going to Hurt, his diary of life as a junior doctor, was voted for by 40,000 fans. Kay joins a long tradition of author physicians. It makes sense, sort of – doctors and writers share a sense of focus; a detached, objective perspective; and a process of trial and error that hopefully resolves things. For those who enjoyed Kay’s book, here are five more medical reads by medics …

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:54 am

USA Gymnastics doctor faces 25 years in prison after guilty plea to molesting girls

A sports doctor accused of molesting girls while working for USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University pleaded guilty on Wednesday to multiple charges of sexual assault and will face at least 25 years in prison.

Related: Olympic champion Gabby Douglas says she was abused by USA Gymnastics doctor

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:49 am

Nick Carter of Backstreet Boys accused of rape

Carter denies accusations that he forced singer-actor Melissa Schuman to have sex ‘against my will’ when she was 18

Nick Carter, a member of the boyband Backstreet Boys, has been accused of rape.

Melissa Schuman, then aged 18 and a member of the girlband Dream, alleges that Carter, then 22, assaulted her at his apartment while they were working on a movie. She claims that she told him she was a virgin and didn’t want to have sex before marriage. She says that Carter then forced her to have sex with him “against my will”.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:49 am

Autumn budget: the day's biggest winners and losers

First-time homebuyers and tax avoiders strike lucky, while there is no relief for owners of diesel cars or private jets

Brexit planners

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:48 am

'I’ve heard a lot worse': Tory backbench verdicts on the budget

Reactions from Conservative MPs to Philip Hammond’s big offers on stamp duty, NHS funding and Brexit preparations

From hard Brexiters to remainers to universal credit rebels, has the chancellor done enough with his budget to keep Tory backbenchers happy? Here’s the first reaction from Conservative MPs on Philip Hammond’s big offers on stamp duty, NHS funding and Brexit preparations.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:44 am

Parachute trial judge warns jurors about bullying

Two jurors discharged due to ill health in case of soldier accused of attempting to murder wife by tampering with parachute

The judge in the trial of an army sergeant accused of attempting to murder his wife by tampering with her parachute has told the jury to ensure there is no bullying between them, as he discharged two members on the grounds of ill health.

The nine women and three men on the jury have been deliberating for 24 hours in the trial of Emile Cilliers, which started more than seven weeks ago.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:40 am

London gallery honours Tarantino precursor Jusepe de Ribera

Art of Violence exhibition in Dulwich to explore depictions of torture and martyrdom by 17th-century Spanish artist

A stomach-churning exhibition of tortured human bodies will open in London next year. Described by the director of Dulwich Picture Gallery as “akin to witnessing a Quentin Tarantino film”, it will be the first major show in the UK devoted to the 17th-century Spanish artist Jusepe de Ribera.

Titled Ribera: Art of Violence, the gallery currently housing a charming exhibition devoted to the creator of the Moomins will include a room of his nightmare visions of the martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew by being flayed alive, and end with a shift from religious art to classical mythology – inexorably the death of Marsyas, excoriated by Apollo for his presumption in challenging the god to a music competition, and losing.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:40 am

Record numbers of rare migrant dragonflies spotted in the UK

Conservationists believe global warming could be partly responsible for the influx of species such as the scarlet darter that have been seen this year

Record numbers of rare migrant dragonflies have been spotted in the UK this year, according to an analysis by volunteers from the Migrant Dragonfly Project.

The study recorded the first confirmed UK sighting of the scarlet darter for 13 years, at Longham Lakes in Dorset. It is only the eighth time this species has been spotted in Britain.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:36 am

Poppi Worthington's father to give evidence at inquest into her death

Paul Worthington, who denies any wrongdoing to 13-month-old daughter, ordered to attend hearing in person

A father alleged to have sexually assaulted his 13-month-old daughter shortly before she collapsed and died is to give evidence in person at her inquest in Kendal next week.

Lawyers for Paul Worthington, 49, had argued that he should be excused from attending the hearing because he had received death threats and that his human rights would be protected by appearing via videolink.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:33 am

Cheeky, cartoonish … and under threat: why our postmodern buildings must be saved

PoMo architecture, often derided as gaudy and excessive, is having a revival – just in time to save some of its greatest treasures

A gaggle of architecture enthusiasts are standing on the windswept edge of Greenland Dock in southeast London, shivering on their bikes and straining to see beauty in the 1980s housing development that stands across the water. “If you look closely,” says their guide, Elain Harwood, “you will see it is a combination of Miami Tudor crossed with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, with a hint of the docklands warehouse.”

What had begun as a punk aesthetic became synonymous with the era of Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:29 am

The Fiver | It’s like rising damp, it’s not just going to go away

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Some things never change. Consider the events of January 1907, for example, when Liverpool travelled to a frozen Roker Park and built themselves a comfy 4-1 half-time lead. Jack Parkinson, Sam Raybould and Jack Cox were scintillating in attack, coming at hosts Sunderland from all angles, at pace, “like a fleet of ships” according to the Liverpool Echo. But as the paper also pointed out, “a battle is never lost until it is won”, and Sunderland came back out for the second half in determined fashion. Liverpool started conceding rash fouls and penalty kicks, the not-yet-woke Manchester Guardian observing that Sunderland’s comeback was because of a “fatal departure on the part of Liverpool from the clean game, which is by no means necessarily tame and effeminate”. The end result was 5-5. It was the first time Liverpool had ever given up a three-goal lead. Oh Liverpool!

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:15 am

Buncrana pier deaths: man tells inquest of battle to rescue baby

Five members of McGrotty family from Derry died when their Audi Q7 plunged off pier into Lough Swilly, County Donegal

An Irish man who was awarded a medal for bravery after saving a baby from drowning has recalled the harrowing moments when he saw the rest of the child’s family sink below the waters of a lough in County Donegal.

In a statement David Walsh, who swam out into Lough Swilly last year to rescue the infant from a sinking Audi jeep, told how he tried to save her older brother from drowning.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:10 am

Lebanese PM Saad Hariri suspends resignation

Hariri, whose resignation prompted fears Saudis had forced him out, eases regional tension by putting decision on hold

The Lebanese prime minister, Saad Hariri, has said he is suspending the resignation that he announced two weeks ago from Saudi Arabia, easing a crisis that had deepened tensions around the Middle East.

“Our nation today needs at this sensitive time exceptional efforts from everyone to protect it against danger,” Hariri said during independence day celebrations, having returned to Beirut late on Tuesday. “We must dissociate from wars, external struggles and regional conflicts.”

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:09 am

Princess, love, girl – when is a term of endearment not welcome? | Rebecca Nicholson

While it’s possible that Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins and Mary Berry enjoyed being referred to as ‘the girls’ by Paul Hollywood, gendered terms are usually patronising and possessive

When I think of Paul Hollywood, TV’s floury-haired fox and staunch upholder of a strong crumb, I think of a man who only ever seems to be one pint of bitter away from turning into your dad hitting the dancefloor at the end of a very long wedding. The Bake Off judge has been all over the tabloids this week – happily, not for wearing a Nazi uniform as fancy dress this time (it was an ’Allo ’Allo!-themed night and he’s sorry, OK) – but it was one particular answer in one particular interview that raised the bristles on my broad, lefty, feminista chest. You’ll remember that when the Bake Off moved to Channel 4, Hollywood was the only original host to stay with the programme, and for a while, he says, this made him the most hated man in the country. In his defence, he told the Radio Times this week: “I stayed with Bake Off. The girls abandoned it. But I was the one put under siege.”

The girls! The girls. Sue Perkins is 48 and Mel Giedroyc is 49. Mary Berry is 82 years old. Instinctively, the word made me wince. Of course it did! Naturally, as a feminist, I hate nice things, and fun. But there was something about this particular utterance of “girls” that stuck in my throat like an overdone sponge. Given that it seemed to carry some criticism of his former colleagues – “abandoned” is hardly a neutral word – it felt loaded. It sounded patronising and possessive. Sadly, I know far less about the inner workings of The Great British Bake Off than I would like to, so it’s possible that the show’s former stars quite enjoyed being called “the girls”, with its connotations of a giggling gang of teenagers, merrily holding hands and skipping through clouds of icing sugar. I know plenty of women of all ages who are perfectly happy to be referred to as girls, and I know plenty of women who would take it as a compliment, and a sign that the night cream is doing what it was sold to do.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:07 am

I'm angry. You're angry. All women are angry. But will that be enough? | Jean Hannah Edelstein

Women are furious, upset, tired. We’ve been swallowing this anger for so long – for our whole careers. But now what are we supposed to do with it?

It’s a long time since I’ve thought about those men every day.

I haven’t been an intern on newspapers for more than 10 years. It’s been slightly less time than that since I decided that a career in the kind of “serious” journalism that I loved was beyond my reach.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:04 am

James Toney: I should’ve knocked Donald Trump’s head off and saved the world lots of trouble

Twenty-six years after their first meeting Donald McRae catches up again with his favourite boxer as the outspoken 49-year-old former world champion prepares for an exhibition fight in Bristol before embarking on a career as a bounty hunter

“Why?” James Toney says fiercely as, just a foot away, the once brilliant and intimidating boxer leans forward and stares at me. “You wanted me to stop fighting? Why? Why?”

I look at my favourite boxer, who used to be rated as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and prepare to tell him the obvious reason. But, pausing first, I remember the compelling stir Toney created in the early 1990s. Before then, when he was still carrying a gun and selling crack on the outskirts of Detroit, Toney’s life seemed distorted by his violent past.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:03 am

Water divining is bunk. So why do myths continue to trump science? | Philip Ball

The use of dowsing by major water companies shows that the appeal of natural magic needs to be understood – and, where needed, confronted

The news that many water companies use dowsing to locate underground water has prompted outraged demands from scientists that they desist at once from wasting time and money on “medieval witchcraft”. They are right to call this practice deluded. But it reveals how complicated the relationship is between scientific evidence and public belief.

When the science blogger Sally Le Page highlighted the issue after her parents spotted an engineer dowsing for Severn Trent Water, the company responded to her query by claiming that “we’ve found some of the older methods are just as effective than [sic] the new ones” (such as the use of drones and satellite imaging). The engineer concerned told her parents that dowsing works for him eight times in 10.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:01 am

'Looting' spree threatens wildlife and forests across eastern Europe

UN report warns crimes such as logging and poaching are putting ‘high pressure’ on ecosystems in 15 countries in the Danube-Carpathian region

An environmental “looting” spree is threatening biodiversity and pristine forests across 15 countries in central and eastern Europe, the UN has warned.

Environmental crimes such as illegal logging, fishing, poaching and the caviar black market are putting “high pressure” on ecosystems in the Danube-Carpathian region, according to a report by the UN Environmental Programme (Unep) and WWF.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 5:00 am

Pakistani court orders release of alleged mastermind of Mumbai attacks

Ruling on Hafiz Saeed, who has a $10m US bounty on his head, is likely to worsen Pakistani relations with Washington

A Pakistani court has ordered the release of Hafiz Saeed, an alleged mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, in a move likely to worsen the country’s tattered relationship with the US.

The Islamist cleric, who heads Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) – listed by the UN as a terrorist group – and has a $10m(£7.5m) US bounty on his head, is expected to be freed on Friday after less than a year in detention.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:59 am

Uefa fine Everton after fan carrying child hit out at Lyon player in fracas

• Club get £26,600 penalty following incident at Europa League game
• FA rejects Oumar Niasse’s appeal against two-match ban for diving

Everton have been fined £26,600 by Uefa after a fan hit out at the Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes during their Europa League tie last month and in a further blow to the club, who have still to appoint a new manager since sacking Ronald Koeman, their striker Oumar Niasse will serve a two-match ban after his appeal against a diving charge was rejected by the Football Association.

The Senegalese becomes the first Premier League player to be hit with a retrospective suspension for simulation under the new law that kicked in at the start of this season.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:57 am

Never mind Jeff Stelling’s derision, expected goals – xG – is here to stay | Paul MacInnes

Real football men vs the nerdy analytics crowd … opinion is wildly divided over the new metric cited by Arsène Wenger but hated by Jeff Stelling and his Soccer Saturday old pros

Jeff Stelling is known for being a cheery sort. The most exasperated he ever gets is when Hartlepool are drubbed and, even then, he usually bears it with the fatalism of the long-suffering supporter. This week, however, the Sky Sports presenter has starred in a much-shared clip in which he goes on an actual rant. And the subject? Expected goals.

In the run-up to their coverage of the north London derby, Stelling observed to his Soccer Saturday pundits that Arsène Wenger had done a daft thing. “He quoted expected goals!” Stelling said to an audible “No!” from one of his guests (perhaps Phil Thompson). “He’s the first person I’ve ever heard take any notice of expected goals, which must be the most useless stat in the history of football! What does it tell you? The game’s finished 3-1, why do you show expected goals afterwards?”

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:56 am

MPs hog social media as they deny voting animals are not sentient

Commons vote against transferring EU protocol on animal sentience into UK law was widely misconstrued, insist MPs

MPs have been forced to deny that a Commons vote last week means animals are not recognised in the UK as sentient life forms.

An amendment to the European Union (withdrawal bill to transfer the EU protocol on animal sentience into UK law was defeated by 313 votes to 295 on 15 November, and since then a row has developed as to what the vote meant in practice.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:54 am

Peter O'Toole was not the drunken hell-raiser he made out, says author

Actor’s biographer says personal archive reveals a ‘sensitive, organised man’ who was writing two screenplays just before his death in 2013

Peter O’Toole was writing two screenplays just before his death at the age of 81, according to research that also suggests the actor’s hell-raising image was a myth that he cultivated himself.

While working on a book about the actor, the biographer Alexander Larman had a glimpse of screen versions of the Seán O’Casey play Juno and the Paycock, and Chekhov’s work Uncle Vanya. He said O’Toole starred on stage in those plays, which each had characters with some similarities to O’Toole’s personality.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:45 am

Late-night TV on Trump and Roy Moore: 'Sexual predators of a feather flock together'

Comics, including Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers, addressed allegations against Charlie Rose and John Conyers, and Trump’s defense of Roy Moore

Late-night hosts on Tuesday addressed the sexual misconduct allegations against both Charlie Rose, who has since been fired from CBS, and Roy Moore, who Donald Trump, after weeks of avoiding the topic, defended in comments to reporters.

“Every day there is another shocking revelation of sexual misconduct,” Stephen Colbert began. “If allegations of harassment were weather, this is hurricane season right now. And some towering figures have been blown over recently.”

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:44 am

In a Lonely Place review – Bogart still captivatingly cynical in noir classic

Humphrey Bogart’s boozy screenwriter plays off perfectly against a marvellous Gloria Grahame in Nicholas Ray’s hardboiled thriller from 1950

Humphrey Bogart’s world-weariness and romanticism take on something brutal and misogynist in this 1950 noir masterpiece directed by Nicholas Ray – and it’s a marvellous performance by Gloria Grahame. This national rerelease is linked to the Grahame retrospective at BFI Southbank, in London. It is adapted from the hardboiled thriller by Dorothy B Hughes, changing her story and rehabilitating the male lead in one way, but in another, introducing a new strain of pessimism and defeat.

Bogart is Dixon Steele, a boozy, depressive Hollywood screenwriter whose tendency to violence and self-hatred isn’t helped by the fact that he hasn’t had a hit in years. Like the directors, producers and actors he occasionally sees in bars, his best days were before the second world war. One night at a restaurant, his agent offers him a much-needed gig adapting some brainless bestseller and Dix shruggingly accepts. The wide-eyed hatcheck girl, Mildred (Martha Stewart), tells him she loves the book and, amused, Dix invites her back to his place to tell him what it’s all about. Having established his intentions are gentlemanly, Mildred agrees.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:42 am

Maria Sharapova under investigation for real estate conspiracy in India

Maria Sharapova is being investigated by police in India in a cheating and criminal conspiracy case involving a real estate company who used the tennis star to endorse a luxury housing project that never took off.

Real estate firm Homestead Infrastructure is accused of taking tens of millions of rupees – or millions of dollars – from home buyers for a project named Ballet by Maria Sharapova, a luxury apartment complex with its own helipad, tennis academy and other amenities. The five-time grand slam champion travelled to India in 2013 to launch the project at a glitzy ceremony. Police began the investigation on 16 November.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:39 am

New nuclear power cannot rival windfarms on price, energy boss says

Innogy Renewables chief claims future reactors will not be competitive as offshore windfarms become even cheaper

New nuclear power stations in the UK can no longer compete with windfarms on price, according to the boss of a German energy company’s green power arm.

Hans Bunting, the chief operating officer of renewables at Innogy SE, part of the company that owns the UK energy supplier npower, said offshore windfarms had become mainstream and were destined to become even cheaper because of new, bigger turbines.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:37 am

Cough sweets, Clarkson and booze: Hammond brings out budget jokes

After traffic en route, a chancellor not renowned for standup delivered a few choice and sometimes spiky gags

The bleaker the economic predictions in a budget, the warmer the jokes need to be. And given the news that growth had been downgraded to 1.5% and the low forecasts for growth stretching out until 2022, Philip Hammond needed all the laughs he could get.

Things didn’t go brilliantly in the run-up to the speech. First up, people noticed how the Treasury team didn’t quite manage to pull off a tribute to the Beatles’ Abbey Road album cover.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:37 am

Of course big stores hate riots … unless they happen on Black Friday | Peter Bradshaw

The benefits to retailers are obvious. When shoppers appear in the press fighting over iPhones and Peppa Pig, who needs to buy ads?

This week, we’re naturally preparing for one of the newest traditional events in the nation’s calendar: Black Friday. It’s that raucous bacchanal of retail-related violence, a time when stores offer one-off promotional sales to trigger the customers’ greed-glands and jump-start the Christmas shopping season with a spectacular punch-up in a crowded space.

The tone has been set by the Hamleys Christmas toy parade in London, in which 800,000 people crushed into Regent Street, apparently attracted by the prospect of a “meet-and-greet” with Peppa Pig that sadly had to be cancelled at the last moment on safety grounds. As it was, a middle-aged woman reportedly had to be taken to hospital after being knocked to the ground in an affray with another woman – the colourful figures of Fireman Sam and Postman Pat on the parade route evidently failing to have an emollient effect.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:18 am

The real budget story is the sharp cut in growth forecasts | Larry Elliott

Philip Hammond could have responded to bad economic news with cuts – instead he has increased spending and borrowing

Forget the extra money for housing. Put to one side the package of support for the NHS. Ignore the willingness to throw money at sorting out universal credit. The real story from the budget was slower growth not just this year but every year up until 2022.

This downgrade has been a long time in coming. Ever since it was founded, the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has wrongly predicted a pick-up in productivity growth and is now heartily sick of ending up with egg on its face.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:18 am

Thomas Cook profits fall after political turmoil and food poisoning claims

Holidaymakers have avoided Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia and flocked to Spain, where tour operator faces fiercer competition

Shares in Thomas Cook have fallen sharply after its UK profits were hit by political upheaval in the Mediterranean, food poisoning fraudsters and Hurricane Irma.

The string of setbacks meant underlying profit in the tour operator’s UK arm fell by £34m in the year to the end of September despite a 3% increase in revenue.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:18 am

Labour's Angela Rayner becomes a grandmother at 37

Shadow education secretary announces birth of her first grandchild in tweet with hashtag #Grangela

The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, has become a grandmother at the age of 37.

The Ashton-under-Lyne MP announced the birth of her first grandchild in a tweet using the hashtag #Grangela.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:12 am

Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?: a melancholy masterpiece of a TV theme tune

Rodney Bewes, who died this week, will forever be remembered for the sitcom which captured the mood of the 70s - as did La Frenais and Hugg’s evocative intro music

Few British sitcoms have ever balanced comedy and melancholy as perfectly as Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? It didn’t deal in black humour in the latterday manner of Human Remains or Nighty Night – there was sharp, witty writing, slapstick humour, it dabbled in farce – but equally, there was no mistaking the way every episode was shot through with wistfulness, nostalgia and regret. It was there in Bob and Terry’s tendency to lapse into reminiscence at the slightest provocation; in Terry’s inability to settle back into civilian life after five years in the army; and in the late Rodney Bewes’s face, which seemed to naturally arrange itself into a mournful expression.

And it was there in the music that accompanied the credits, the work in part of the show’s co-author Ian La Frenais. La Frenais was clearly quite the frustrated songwriter, almost invariably getting a hand in the themes for the programmes he wrote, often with deleterious results (witness Joe Fagin’s appalling 1984 hit That’s Livin’ Alright, which began life as the closing theme to Auf Weidersehen Pet). But this time he and co-writer Mike Hugg of Manfred Mann came up with one of those TV themes that appeared to immediately bury into the viewer’s brain.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:09 am

Search for missing Argentinian submarine enters critical phase

Concern grows as oxygen reserves for missing naval vessel ARA San Juan with 44 on board reach seven-day limit

The search for the Argentinian submarine ARA San Juan and its 44 crew members has entered a “critical phase” as the vessel’s probable oxygen reserves reach their seven-day limit, a navy spokesperson said.

Oxygen reserves under normal conditions for a submerged submarine such as the ARA San Juan would last about a week, depending on the situation inside the submarine, navy spokesman Enrique Balbi said. If there had been an oxygen-consuming fire on board, that time would be reduced.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:08 am

She's Gotta Have It review – an exhilarating examination of our attitudes to sex and race

Spike Lee’s movie about an unashamedly polyamorous woman has been adapted into a Netflix 10-parter, taking in gentrification and everyday sexual harassment

In She’s Gotta Have It, Nola Darling is a figurative painter, living in Brooklyn; 31 years ago, when Spike Lee created her for the film that splashed his vision, vividly and indelibly, all over Hollywood, she was a graphic artist.

So, sure, there have been tweaks to her CV for this Netflix remake, not least because there are now 10 episodes; box sets can make films seem as fleeting as adverts, events that only remind you of the story. But the premise – the bit that made it arresting and sexy, combustible, stinging and talked-about – remains unchanged: Darling is sleeping with three men, a stable and mature one (Jamie Overstreet), a narcissistic and shallow one (Greer Childs), and an eccentric and playful one (Mars Blackmon). She’s not doing it for cutesy, Shakespearean reasons; she’s not trying to make her mind up, or refereeing a battle between her head and heart. She’s doing it because she’s “sex positive, polyamorous, pansexual”.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:54 am

Help for housing or a kick in the teeth for the young? Our writers on the budget | Matthew d’Ancona, Faiza Shaheen, Jonathan Freedland, Polly Toynbee and Frances Ryan

Philip Hammond has held on to his own job, for now. But his budget changes may prove little more than window dressing as Brexit looms Continue reading...

Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:53 am

Snow, heavy rain and gales to hit UK overnight

Severe weather warning issued for Scotland, with yellow weather warning of heavy rain in northern England and north-west Wales

Snow is forecast to hit parts of the UK on Wednesday night along with heavy rain and strong winds.

Heavy and persistent snow is forecast in Scotland on Thursday morning, with 2cm to 5cm likely for many parts and up to 20cm on the highest ground, the Met Office said.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:51 am

Godless review – Netflix's wonderfully wicked western fires on all cylinders

The seven-part miniseries, starring Jeff Daniels and Michelle Dockery, is visually spellbinding and filled with standout performances

Godless, Netflix’s new seven-part miniseries, opens in 1884, in Creede, Colorado, with a thick cloud of smog shrouding the camera. The haze slowly dissolves to reveal a chilling landscape: parched bodies being tended to by swarms of flies; a man, sedentary, with a gunshot through his head; a train-wreck near which a young boy hangs from a noose; and a woman, crouched over a corpse, singing mournfully about Christ. It’s a near-wordless several minutes, a triumph of mood and cinematography, that evokes the sort of rough-and-tumble anarchy of the great filmic frontiersman. Soon after, we’re in La Belle, New Mexico, where we learn who’s responsible for the massacre, and from thereon it’s guns blazing.

Related: Michelle Dockery: 'I consider myself a widow'

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:47 am

Backstage at the opera and pole vaulting: Wednesday's best photographs

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world including daily life in Honduras, politics in London, Libyan bikers and famine in Yemen

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:44 am

England players will not give part of their match fee to ‘bankrupt’ Samoa

• Twickenham hosts will receive £23,000 each while Samoans will get £600
• ‘As players we feel it isn’t our place to get involved in a complex issue’

England’s players have opted against giving a portion of their match fee to their Samoan counterparts ahead of Saturday’s clash at Twickenham.

Anthony Watson revealed that the possibility of donating part of the £23,000 they are paid for each Test – as recently suggested by Mako Vunipola – would be discussed this week.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:39 am

Three missing after US navy plane crashes in Philippine Sea

A US navy transport plane carrying 11 people crashed in the Philippine Sea south of Japan on Wednesday as it flew to the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, the US Seventh Fleet said.

Related: US navy to relieve 7th Fleet commander of duty after series of collisions

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:38 am

Emmerson Mnangagwa to be sworn in as Zimbabwe's president on Friday

Former vice-president, whose sacking by Robert Mugabe triggered the country’s political crisis, flies home from South Africa

Zimbabwe’s former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa has returned to the country and will be sworn in as president on Friday.

Related: Zimbabwe celebrates as Mugabe resignation announced – in pictures

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:34 am

Hammond boosts housing and NHS spending as growth forecasts are slashed

Autumn budget also includes stamp duty cut, £1.5bn universal credit U-turn and extra £3bn for Brexit preparations

Philip Hammond has reduced stamp duty for first-time homebuyers as part of a package of measures to boost the economy, despite a sharp cut in forecasts for economic growth as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.

In the government’s first major economic announcement since Theresa May lost the Conservatives’ majority at the election, the chancellor axed the property tax for the majority of first-time buyers, pumped an additional £2.8bn into the NHS in England and earmarked £1.5bn to cut waiting times for universal credit claimants.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:23 am

Sayfullo Saipov charged with 22 counts over New York truck attack

New Jersey resident, 29, charged with murder, attempted murder and providing material support for Isis after Manhattan attack on 31 October

A 22-count indictment was returned on Tuesday against a New Jersey man in the killings of eight people during a truck attack on a bike path in New York City.

Related: American victims of New York attack had bright futures, those who knew them say

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:22 am

For public services and public sector staff this is a bankrupt budget | David Walker

The chancellor shows no understanding about what makes housing, local government or other public services work

This is a bankrupt budget. Not in the strictly financial sense, though how much more threadbare core public services can become without collapsing and causing social mayhem the next few years will prove, if the government lasts. Even with faltering economic growth, public spending is to go on falling as a proportion of GDP.

It’s bankrupt in ideas, in understanding, in preparedness to examine what has been happening to public services.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:16 am

Net neutrality: why are Americans so worried about it being scrapped?

Most of the world won’t be affected by the changes, so are they a problem? No, if you are a tech monopoly – but yes if you don’t want a two-tier internet

Ajit Pai, head of the US telecoms regulator, revealed sweeping changes on Tuesday to overturn rules designed to protect an open internet.

The regulations, put in place by the Obama administration in 2015, enshrined the principle of “net neutrality” in US law. Net neutrality is the idea that internet service providers should not interfere in the information they transmit to consumers, but should instead simply act as “dumb pipes” that treat all uses, from streaming video to sending tweets, interchangeably.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:09 am

Rambert review – Ben Duke's dance to the death is a searingly emotional joyride

Sadler’s Wells, London
Inspired by the onstage intensity of Nina Simone, the centrepiece of this triple bill blurs real life and performance to spectacular effect

What does it mean when dancers express emotion on stage? Do they bring real-life experiences to those highly choreographed moments when they’re leaping with ecstasy, racked by grief or, as in the climax of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, dancing themselves to death on behalf of a fearful, threatened community? These are some of the questions posed by Goat, the raw, funny and occasionally searing new piece of dance theatre that Ben Duke has made for Rambert.

Related: 'Dancers didn’t speak to Merce Cunningham like this!': Ben Duke's backstage Rambert diary

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 3:03 am

Alps bus driver died after crashing into rocks to save passengers, inquest hears

Maurice Wrightson from Northumberland had been descending narrow road from a French ski resort when the brakes failed

A bus driver died in a “complete inferno” after driving directly into boulders on a narrow mountain road to try to save his passengers, an inquest has heard.

Maurice Wrightson, 63, from Ashington in Northumberland, had been descending the precarious D211 road from the Alpe d’Huez ski resort in France with a coach full of British staff on 16 April 2013.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:57 am

British law must recognise Muslim marriage ceremonies | Bilal Hassam

If the UK could do it for Quakers 250 years ago, is it too much to ask parliament to consider the needs of newer faith communities?

When I had my nikah, my Islamic marriage ceremony, I considered myself a married man. In the presence of our nearest and dearest, squeezed into my partner’s front room in Grimsby, an imam led us through a series of vows and the signing of our marriage certificate before offering a prayer and declaring us husband and wife.

It was a beautiful, intimate and uniquely British ceremony, captured by British Muslim TV and featured on Channel 4’s documentary The Truth About Muslim Marriage. This groundbreaking film highlights the toxic fallout of our legal system’s failure to recognise an Islamic marriage as valid.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:52 am

Prospering promoted sides precipitated Premier League clubs’ rush to sack | Paul Wilson

The sacking of five managers already is in part because Brighton, Huddersfield and Newcastle do not look like relegation fodder – and because Sunderland’s woes show what the drop could mean

Five Premier League managers have lost their jobs so far this season before we are a third of the way in, and looking at the bottom three in particular the figure could still rise again before Christmas.

To put that into context, this time last season only one manager had been sacked, Francesco Guidolin almost inevitably failing to live up to expectations at Swansea, and it would take until late February and the tear-jerking removal of Claudio Ranieri at Leicester to take the tally to five.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:50 am

China and Vatican turn to 'diplomacy of art' as rapprochement stalls

Each will send the other 40 works to go on display simultaneously from March

The Vatican is to send 40 works of art to China in a cultural exchange amid signs that attempts at rapprochement between the two powers are faltering.

The Vatican museums, home to the Sistine chapel and countless other works of importance, and the China Culture Industrial Investment Fund (CCIIF) announced the exchange initiative in Rome this week. Simultaneous exhibitions will open in March in the Forbidden City in Beijing and the Vatican’s Anima Mundi Museum.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:33 am

Kitchen gadgets review: Rotimatic – does anyone need a robot chapati maker?

This roti-making robot creaks and clanks as it mixes, kneads, rolls and cooks dough, before shooting the resultant flatbreads out of a letterbox

The Rotimatic Rotimaker (£830, is a complex unit comprising reservoirs, manipulative mechanisms and hot plate. Converts flour and water into cooked south-Asian flatbreads.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:30 am

Corbyn challenges May over Brexit strategy at PMQs

Labour leader presses PM on issues such as Irish border and immigration rules; May says Labour has no clue on Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn has used prime minister’s questions to challenge Theresa May over what he called the government’s lack of a coherent Brexit strategy.

The Labour leader used each of his questions in a pre-budget PMQs to focus on Brexit, a subject he has largely avoided in recent months, seemingly because Labour’s position on the subject also remains some way from coherent and unified.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:28 am

The art of Terry Pratchett's Discworld – in pictures

The author’s ‘artist of choice’ Paul Kidby introduces some of the images he produced during their decades-long collaboration

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:14 am

Two goals and a baby: Wigan player rushes from match to birth of his son

Ryan Colclough was on the pitch when he heard his wife was in labour, but still had time to score before rushing to hospital

A professional footballer who was on the pitch when he was told that his wife’s waters had broken had time to score a goal before rushing to the hospital to be at the birth.

Ryan Colclough ran off down the tunnel shortly after scoring his second goal in Wigan Athletic’s 3-0 victory over Doncaster Rovers on Tuesday night. He made it to the hospital, still in full kit, 30 minutes before his wife gave birth to a boy, completing a unique hat-trick for the winger.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:04 am

Rodney Bewes: one of TV's great class acts

The actor unforgettably captured the feverish social-climbing of the 1960s and 70s in two incarnations of The Likely Lads sitcom, but never equalled his success in the part of Bob

Although it is 43 years since Rodney Bewes last played his career-defining role on TV – as the Thatcherite social-climber Bob Ferris in the Geordie sitcom Whatever Happened to The Likely Lads? – fans of the series will feel sharp loss at the news of his death, at the age of 79.

Viewers will have particular memories of Bewes as Bob because it represented an unusually perfect piece of casting. He had previously played the character in The Likely Lads, a black-and-white BBC sitcom broadcast between 1964-66, with James Bolam as Terry, a former schoolmate whose downwards trajectory was as steep as Bob’s rise towards the middle class. But it was when writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais suggested a sequel, answering the question, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? (BBC1, 1973-74), that Bewes found his ideal role. Colour TV was the perfect vehicle for Bob’s blue-pinstripe suits, fat-knotted floral ties and shiny company cars, further emphasising the contrast with Terry, seemingly forever entombed in a beige windcheater.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:03 am

Spirits down: proof that gin makes you sad

The drink’s melancholy reputation has been backed up by a survey from Public Health Wales, although four out of 10 drinkers claim it makes them feel sexier

Name: Gin.

Age: 300 years old.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:01 am

BT and Sky battle to keep England’s Ashes Unnameables anonymous | Marina Hyde

Joe Root is light years away from the visibility David Gower enjoyed and, away from terrestrial TV, some team-mates in Australia might as well be in a witness protection programme

At the risk of making myself a hostage to fortune, it is very possible that Australia has already delivered its most withering put-down of England before an Ashes ball has even been bowled. I may come to regret this rash statement when this year’s exquisite causal link between someone’s girth, someone else’s wife, and some form of baked goods is made. But given how much of modern journalism seems to be about “calling” things in the comical belief that functioning as Earth’s wrongest bookmaker makes one relevant, let’s give it a whirl: to read that the Australian media have branded England’s Ashes squad the Unnameables is to experience the sting of the sledge that really lands.

Who are ya? Who are we? It goes without saying that the captain, Joe Root, is light years away in visibility from past players such as David Gower – that level of English cricketing celebrity is a lost world. Even Jimmy Anderson is a throwback to a time of greater recognition, just a few years ago, after which the progression to comparative anonymity has been steady.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 2:00 am

Out on the gown: 50 of the best Christmas party dresses – in pictures

Wrapped, sparkly, metallic, sequins and gold – if you’re after a party dress, then look no further than this, your definitive 50 best dresses for the festive season

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:58 am

Liverpool investigate claims police assaulted fans at Sevilla game

• Match kicked off with nearly half away section empty owing to delays
• Unverified claims on social media of fans being assaulted by police

Liverpool are investigating claims that fans were mistreated by Spanish police, with some allegedly assaulted and denied entry to the stadium before the 3-3 Champions League draw in Seville.

The match kicked off with almost half the away section still empty with reports of delays getting in and supporters being turned away or let in and being told to sit in any seat rather than the one they had been allocated. There were also claims on social media, which have not been verified, of fans being assaulted by police.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:45 am

Muhal Richard Abrams obituary

Innovative American jazz pianist, clarinettist and composer who co-founded the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians in Chicago

The American jazz pianist, clarinettist and composer Muhal Richard Abrams, who has died aged 87, was one of contemporary music’s most dedicated and free-thinking sages – a fascinated and fascinating investigator of modern musical sources, from the early-jazz piano styles of stride and boogie-woogie through to compositional methods embracing Duke Ellington and Schoenbergian serialism, free-jazz and the blues.

Largely self-taught, Abrams studied jazz’s piano greats in his youth until he could hold his own in the Chicago South Side’s jazz clubs. He went on to compose symphonic works, pieces for all-saxophone ensembles, collages of speech and abstract sound and music for string quartet. As a solo pianist he avoided conspicuous virtuosity in favour of patient exploration – an unhurried personal synthesis of rootsiness, lyricism and abstraction, interweaving blues motifs, fragmented bebop figures, classical music and free-improv.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:44 am

A ban on smoking in French films? The idea makes me fume | Stephen Leslie

The great directors have always understood that cigarettes and the screen are inextricably linked, like movement and mortality

The French Socialist senator Nadine Grelet-Certenais has fired up a heated debate in France over the depiction of smoking in the movies. She wants it stubbed out, for good, on the basis that Gallic heroes puffing away on the silver screen makes the filthy habit seem cool and provides the evil tobacco industry with free advertising. Ban it, and everything will be made miraculously better – c’est simple. Her call has been taken up by the health minister, Agnès Buzyn, and suddenly film-makers have a fight on their hands.

The problem with this is that it totally ignores the venerable history of French cinema, which plays out as a long, drawn-out visual love letter to the act of smoking. Smoking a cigarette and cinema have always gone perfectly together – they are both ways of killing time, after all – but the moving image also captures the act of smoking so much better than other art forms, such as still photography. The flare of a match or lighter, and then the upward curl of smoke are forever seductive. All the best French film directors knew this and have exploited it endlessly.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:35 am

HSBC closes Marine Le Pen bank account

French far-right leader says she and Front National are victims of ‘banking fatwa’ after Société Générale closes party’s accounts

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National, has claimed that she and her party are victims of a “banking fatwa” after HSBC closed a bank account she had had for 25 years.

The move by Britain’s biggest bank comes amid heightened scrutiny of political accounts and the day after Société Générale, France’s second-largest bank, asked the far-right party to close all its accounts after a 30-year relationship.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:33 am

The media has a problem with alcoholism – and it's stopping people getting help

Alcoholism as a term has long expired, so why do common narratives around alcohol problems still rely on it so much?

The term alcoholism has long been retired from official alcohol clinical and policy guidance, abandoned as a reductionist and stigmatising label for problem drinking. Instead, alcohol use disorders, some including varying degrees of dependency, reflect the wider continuum nature of alcohol problems. Despite this, inappropriate references to “alcoholics” are ubiquitous in everyday narratives including mainstream media, undermining opportunities to reduce alcohol harms in a number of subtle ways.

One reason for over use of the alcoholism concept may be a lack of a common language to describe the nuances of heavy drinking behaviours. Alcoholism may be assumed to be synonymous with alcohol dependence, but it is inherently bound to stereotypes of hitting rock bottom and beliefs in its nature as a lifelong disease. The media rarely offers alternative problem drinking accounts other than the equally flawed spectacle of binge drinking, and in turn perpetuates an overly simplistic framework for the public to reference their own beliefs and attitudes against.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:32 am

Damian Green inquiry to conclude within days after series of interviews

Cabinet Office minister battles for political future as investigation into allegations of sexual impropriety nears completion

An inquiry into allegations of impropriety by Theresa May’s de facto deputy Damian Green is expected to conclude within days after a series of interviews.

The political future of the first secretary of state and Cabinet Office minister remains in the balance as the department’s head of propriety and ethics, Sue Gray, deliberates over claims that Green harassed a young Conservative activist and downloaded pornography to a work computer. He denies both allegations.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:30 am

Rashida Jones denies she left Pixar over 'unwanted advances' by John Lasseter

Parks and Recreation star refutes reports that she and co-writer departed over Disney animation head’s behaviour, citing lack of diversity at studio

Rashida Jones has denied claims that she left the writing staff of Toy Story 4 due to sexual harassment by Disney animation head John Lasseter, instead stating that her departure was the result of “philosophical differences” over a lack of diversity at Pixar Animation Studios.

On Tuesday, it was announced that Lasseter, who is also the chief creative officer at Pixar, is to take a six-month leave of absence after admitting to undivulged “missteps”. The announcement was swiftly followed by reports of alleged misconduct by Lasseter published by Variety, Vanity Fair and the Hollywood Reporter, with the Reporter investigation including a claim that former Parks and Recreation star Jones and writing partner Will McCormack had exited Toy Story 4 following an “unwanted advance” by Lasseter.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:21 am

Baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky dies aged 55

The Russian singer, hailed as one of the world’s greatest, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2015

The Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky has died aged 55. The news was announced on his Facebook page:

“On behalf of the Hvorostovsky family, it is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Dmitri Hvorostovsky – beloved operatic baritone, husband, father, son, and friend – at age 55. After a two-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer, he died peacefully this morning, November 22, surrounded by family near his home in London, UK. May the warmth of his voice and his spirit always be with us.”

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:20 am

Jeremy Hunt gets into Twitter row over NHS with actor Ralf Little

Health secretary replies in series of 26 tweets to comedy actor challenging his statistics on NHS mental health figures

The health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has become embroiled in a bizarre Twitter row with the comedy actor Ralf Little over the state of NHS mental healthcare.

The standoff began two weeks ago after Hunt’s appearance on The Andrew Marr Show, when Hunt stated that the NHS had overseen “the biggest expansion of mental health provision in Europe”.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:15 am

Trump's judicial picks: 'The goal is to end the progressive state'

Donald Trump is radically reshaping the same federal courts that have been the biggest bulwark against his agenda – by picking mostly white, conservative men

Donald Trump has sustained more than his fair share of political losses during the first 10 months of his presidency, mostly at the hands of the federal courts.

It was the federal courts that struck down his “Muslim travel ban” on three separate occasions, that blocked his ban on trans people in the military and that did the same to his attempt to defund so-called sanctuary cities.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:14 am

'I came down here to be forgotten': life in the tunnels beneath Las Vegas – video

An estimated 300 people live in the flood tunnels underneath Las Vegas, and many of them struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Paul Vautrinot was one of them. Vautrinot visits the tunnels regularly to try and help residents there find a way out, and into transitional housing

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:00 am

Manifesto review – Cate Blanchett is astonishing in bravura character study

Blanchett plays 13 characters performing screeds by the likes of Marx and Debord in a hypnotically fascinating exploration of philosophy

There is a hypnotic fascination to this work by artist and film-maker Julian Rosefeldt, one of the few commercial films that explores the boundaries between cinema and installation, or cinema and video art. It owes this relative prominence to the presence of Cate Blanchett, who may be rivalling Tilda Swinton as Hollywood’s experimentalist and patron-muse.

Related: Manifesto: Cate Blanchett's multiple personalities for video artist – in pictures

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:00 am

Ashes first Test dos and don’ts: what England can learn from Gabba in 1986-87 | Rob Smyth

In Test cricket there is always a precedent to inspire hope. In this case it’s the first Test at the Gabba in 1986-87 when an England team given no chance won so emphatically all the doom was transferred to Australia

The last one-off Ashes Test took place in 1887-88, but only if you’re talking literally. The opening match of a long series often sets such a decisive tone – particularly in Australia - that it could often be described as the deciding first Test. Most people give Joe Root’s England two chances in the upcoming series, and slim is unavailable because of an ongoing police investigation. But in the sprawling history of Test cricket there is always a precedent to inspire hope. In this case it’s the first Test at the Gabba in 1986-87, when an England team given approximately 0.00% chance won so emphatically that all the pre-series doom was transferred to Australia.

There are plenty of parallels between then and now, and a couple of reminders that sometimes the past is another planet, never mind a foreign country. The story of the game – “can’t bat, can’t bowl, can’t field” – has been told a gazillion times, so here’s an attempt to disguise brazen recycling: it’s our series of England First Test Dos and Don’ts!

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 1:00 am

Google has been tracking Android users even with location services turned off

Company confirms it receives mobile phone mast tracking data even with sim removed and privacy features active, but says it will cease to by end of November

Google has confirmed it has been able to track the location of Android users via the addresses of local mobile phone masts, even when location services were turned off and the sim cards removed to protect privacy.

Revealed by a report by Quartz, Google’s Android system, which handles messaging services to ensure delivery of push notifications, began requesting the unique addresses of mobile phone masts (called Cell ID) at the beginning of 2017.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:48 am

University vice-chancellors deserve more pay, not less. Here’s why | David Blanchflower

Running a university requires a rare combination of skills. Pay peanuts, and you will get monkeys in charge of them

Yosser Hughes, from Boys from the Blackstuff, famously said: “Gissa job – I can do that”. Of course, he mostly wasn’t qualified for the jobs he was after. He couldn’t do that. Lots of people these days seem to think the job of running a giant university is an easy one, and they could do that.

The reality is, they couldn’t. It turns out there is a shortage of applicants for these jobs because, compared with equivalent jobs in the private sector, they are seriously underpaid.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:40 am

Rhyl friendly with Leeds Under-23s abandoned after second-half brawl

• Punches thrown after melee in second half of friendly match
• Leeds Under-23s coach Carlos Corberán ‘proud’ of players’ behaviour

Rhyl FC have launched an investigation after a friendly with Leeds Under-23s was abandoned in the second half following a brawl. Video footage appeared online on Tuesday showing a melee involving both sides, with punches being thrown, mainly by Rhyl’s No4, who is named as Tony Davies on the teamsheet.

Leeds were reported to have then left the field and the game was called off with the game goalless.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:36 am

Uber’s ‘disruption’ is far from benign - but it’s not too big to ban | Abi Wilkinson

The latest revelation about the ride-hailing app concealing a huge hack of personal data confirms that London mayor Sadiq Khan is right to take it on

Uber is one of those companies that seems to take pride in upsetting the status quo. Its cheerleaders claim the minicab app is a shining example of “disruptive innovation” – where entrepreneurs change entire industries by thinking outside the box. Critics contend that Uber’s business model is actually pretty traditional. The only major difference is scale, and the use of a high-tech booking system.

Related: Uber concealed massive hack that exposed data of 57m drivers and users

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:26 am

Self-taught rocket scientist plans launch to test flat Earth theory

‘Mad’ Mike Hughes, 61, plans to reach an altitude of 1,800ft over California in his home-made steam-powered rocket

Science is littered with tales of visionaries who paid for pioneering research to prove their theories, and this weekend “Mad” Mike Hughes is hoping to join them. He plans to launch a homemade rocket in California as part of a bid to eventually prove that the Earth is flat.

Hughes has spent $20,000 (£15,000) building the steam-powered rocket in his spare time, and will be livestreaming the launch over the internet. The self-described daredevil says he switched his focus to rockets after twice breaking his back doing stunt jumps in cars.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:20 am

Uber concealed massive hack that exposed data of 57m users and drivers

Uber concealed a massive global breach of the personal information of 57 million customers and drivers in October 2016, failing to notify the individuals and regulators, the company acknowledged on Tuesday.

Uber also confirmed it had paid the hackers responsible $100,000 to delete the data and keep the breach quiet, which was first reported by Bloomberg.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:16 am

Roma’s Cengiz Under: ‘I like to prove people wrong. I’ve been doing it since I was 10’

The 20-year-old, in Roma’s squad to face Atlético Madrid, opens up on meeting Francesco Totti, overcoming language difficulties and how he hopes to be an ambassador for Turkish footballers abroad

“I had no idea what he was saying but it did not matter.”

Cengiz Under had arrived for this first training session with Roma, without a translator, and there, waiting for him, was none other that Francesco Totti. “I still can’t quite believe it,” the 20-year-old Turkish international says, looking back at that day in August when the rest of the Roma first-team squad were in the United States on the club’s summer tour.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:10 am

Top 10 books about mental hospitals

From the horrors of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to hopeful stories of recovery, here are some of the best books about these much feared institutions

Both real and fictional psychiatric institutions are often described in books as places filled with fear, manipulation and danger. Authors frequently take creative liberties to up the intrigue, and frighten their readers with tales of abuse, hauntings and corruption. Although these themes may have been closer to reality in generations past, one hopes that as a society we are progressing toward better treatment and better facilities.

I have worked in many mental health and addiction treatment facilities in my career as a psychotherapist, and my experiences in these places helped inform my first novel, The Blind. Its protagonist, Dr Samantha James, works at Typhlos, a fictional psychiatric institution in Manhattan that is suffering from overcrowding and underfunding. Despite feeling caught up in red tape, Sam is an intrepid clinician, doing everything in her power to reach and help her patients – something that is, happily, also a common reality. Typhlos acts as the backdrop for her journey, teetering on the edge of mental illness, and her experience is mirrored in the chaos of the institution itself.

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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 12:00 am

Kezia Dugdale: I'll donate part of I'm a Celebrity fee to charity

Scottish MSP admits sums involved are not ‘in any sense small’ as she defends her decision to appear in reality TV show

The former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has promised to donate part of her fee from appearing in I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here to a homeless charity as she defended her decision to appear in the show.

Dugdale rejected complaints from her Labour colleagues at Holyrood that taking part in the ITV reality show was akin to taking a second job, but admitted she would be well paid for it.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:49 pm

UK universities 'face disaster within weeks' without clear Brexit plan

Warwick University vice-chancellor says certainty is needed over EU citizens’ rights to avoid exodus of staff at all levels

British universities face “a moment of great trauma” in the next few weeks unless the government makes clear its post-Brexit plans for EU residents in the UK, a leading vice-chancellor has warned.

Prof Stuart Croft of Warwick University said in an interview with the Guardian that the possibility of no deal being struck to exit the EU was “utterly bizarre”, and that institutions needed certainty over residency rights by the end of the year to avoid seeing staff at all levels deciding to leave.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:33 pm

Water firms backtrack on admissions that they use divining rods

Some blame rogue engineers for continuing to use practice dismissed as witchcraft to find leaks

Water firms have hastily distanced themselves from their own admissions that they use divining rods to detect leaks amid widespread alarm at publicly listed companies using witchcraft.

Ten of the 12 water companies in the UK told the science blogger Sally Le Page, via Twitter, that they use the practice of water dowsing despite the lack of scientific evidence for its effectiveness.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:22 pm

Join the conversation: the best comments on the Guardian today

Here are some of the comments that have resonated most with readers today, along with links to the articles which provoked them

Budget reaction and analysis, the sad death of singer David Cassidy and thoughts on low-alcohol wine have provoked some of the most interesting reader discussion around the Guardian today.

To get involved, you can click on the links in the comments below to expand the conversation and add your thoughts. We’ll continue to highlight more comments worth visiting as the day goes on.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:13 pm

To get people off the streets, Philip Hammond, help homeless people rent

Only two in 10 private landlords would consider renting to someone who is homeless, but the chancellor can solve this crisis by supporting help to rent

Imagine you are homeless. Because social housing in our country is shrinking one of the only ways you can get a home is by privately renting.

But you have escaped domestic violence; perhaps you have lost your job or been through a relationship breakdown and found yourself in a downward spiral with little support. You certainly have no money for a deposit and a private landlord is highly unlikely to rent to you.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:05 pm

Which individuals have sponsored a professional club's shirt? | The Knowledge

Plus: champion PMs and uncapped medal winners. Send your questions and answers to or tweet @TheKnowledge_GU

“Guitar-toting indie tyro Jake Bugg is sponsoring Notts County’s kit throughout November. Is this the first time an individual has been a professional club’s shirt sponsor?” poses Gregg Bakowski.

“Gregg Bakowski need not have been a detective to find at least one previous instance of an individual personally sponsoring a strip,” quips Raith Rovers fan Iain Wallace. “Crime writer Val McDermid was Raith’s primary strip sponsor for two seasons from 2014 and her name remains emblazoned above our away stand (in memory of her father, a club scout). She also only recently stepped down from the board of directors.”

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:00 pm

Ashes beginner’s guide: Everything you wanted to know but were afraid to ask | Simon Burnton

When it starts, where you can watch it, who’s going to win and which are players to watch – it’s all here in our guide for the uninitiated

The first Test starts in Brisbane on Thursday morning local time, or for Blighty-based fans at 12 midnight GMT, with further matches to come in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. Brisbane Cricket Ground is better known as the Gabba – it being situated in the borough of Woolloongabba – and also, worryingly for England, as the Gabbatoir, due to the regularity with which visiting teams are slaughtered there. West Indies were the last touring side to win at the Gabba, and that was in 1988. England last won in 1986 and have lost five and drawn twice since.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 11:00 pm

'We could build something revolutionary': how tech set underground music free

YouTube, social media and even Bitcoin are allowing musicians to reject major labels and go it alone – but the industry is fighting back. Can artists use technology to stay truly independent?

In the 20th century, the vast majority of music you heard and bought was controlled by a small number of companies: record labels, radio stations and other dominators of the media. Artists needed them to reach the public and the public’s choice was prescribed by what these gatekeepers believed could best turn a profit. You liked it or lumped it. Now, however, a networked world is giving artists and audiences the tools to reject those companies for ever.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 10:50 pm

Wu-Tang Clan sue dog-walking outfit Woof-Tang Clan for copyright breach

The company, who claims walk ‘the illest group of dogs in New York City’, have been targeted by producer-rapper RZA in a trademark dispute

Wu-Tang Clan producer and rapper RZA has sued a Brooklyn dog-walking company for breach of copyright, after they named themselves Woof-Tang Clan.

Court papers stated that Wu-Tang Clan’s name and logo were “unmistakably associated” with the group since their formation in Staten Island in 1993, and that Woof-Tang Clan’s attempt to trademark their name violates the music group’s trademarks.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 10:42 pm

Camelot mulls £10k-a-month-for life lottery prize to attract young

UK national lottery operator considers shift in focus to entice younger generation wanting to get on to housing ladder

The national lottery operator, Camelot, is considering introducing a prize of up to £10,000 a month for life in the hope of enticing a younger generation of players seeking financial security so they can afford to buy a home.

As it revealed an overall drop in ticket sales, Camelot said it could shift its focus away from big jackpots towards an “annuity-style game”, in which the prize would continue to pay out until death.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 10:19 pm

David Cassidy: star of Partridge Family dies aged 67

Family statement says teen pop idol Cassidy died in Florida ‘surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart’

US teen idol David Cassidy, best known as Keith Partridge on the hit 1970s series The Partridge Family, has died at the age of 67 from organ failure.

Cassidy had been hospitalised in Florida for several days, after experiencing failure of the kidney and liver.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 9:50 pm

North Korean defector's daring escape caught on video

Footage shows regime soldiers pursuing and shooting at their compatriot, who was hit at least five times as he ran for his life across the border

Dramatic footage has emerged showing a North Korean military defector fleeing across the border to South Korea as he is pursued and shot at by his compatriots before being hauled to safety by troops from the other side.

The video, released on Wednesday by the UN command in the South, shows the soldier, who defected last week, racing towards the border village of Panmunjom in a military vehicle before crashing it and continuing his escape on foot.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:33 pm

David Cassidy – a life in pictures

After finding fame as Keith Partridge on the musical TV show The Partridge Family, David Cassidy became a teen heart-throb and hugely popular singer in the 1970s, and also acted and performed in musical theatre

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:33 pm

What England needs is more affordable houses, not universal credit | Peter Hetherington

The botched rollout of universal credit has led to £1.3m in council rental arrears in Newcastle, the city where I, Daniel Blake was set. Ministers are making the housing crisis worse

Across the road from where Daniel Blake pleaded for fairness with jobcentre staff in Ken Loach’s 2016 film, a real human drama is unfolding in Newcastle upon Tyne’s Citizens Advice Bureau. Since becoming the largest city to pilot universal credit last March, rent arrears with Newcastle council’s housing provider have gone through the roof. At the last count, they stood at £1.3m. Some tenants have run out of cash, leaving the bureau to pick up the pieces.

Think about that: at least 2,400 people in rental arrears in a medium-sized city, with a growing economy, thriving digital sector, two universities and a rich cultural offer. It could be anywhere in England. Newcastle’s experience with universal credit and the consequent impact on social housing – and the shrinkage it is inflicting on the private rented sector – should be a warning to the rest of the country as it is rolled out.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:30 pm

How the brown bear became public enemy number one in rural Romania

Despite a national hunting ban, the attitude to bears has become increasingly hostile, with some remote villagers taking matters into their own hands

High up in the Carpathian mountains, a forest guard named Csaba Demeter was leaving the woods one evening early this summer when a brown bear attacked him from behind. It pinned him to the ground, sunk its teeth into his limbs and tore deep lacerations into his back with its claws. Demeter pulled his coat over his head and played dead, holding his breath and stiffening his limbs as the bear dug into his flesh. It was five minutes before the animal gave up and moved slowly back into the forest, leaving Demeter barely alive on the mountainside.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:30 pm

‘I’ve run out of tears’: inside London’s temporary housing crisis - video

Connect House in Mitcham, London, is a converted office block in the depths of an industrial estate that is temporarily home to vulnerable people, families and young children. We meet two young mothers who tell us what daily life is like there. An estimated 120,540 children with their families live in temporary accommodation across England, a  figure that has risen 37% since 2014.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:26 pm

Anti-Trump protesters risk 60 years in jail. Is dissent a crime? | Yael Bromberg and Eirik Cheverud

More than 200 people who were arrested on Trump’s inauguration day risk up to 60 years of jail. Meanwhile, the white supremacists in Charlottesville walk free

On the morning of President Trump’s inauguration, police trapped and arrested more than 230 people. Some were anti-Trump demonstrators; some were not. The next day, federal prosecutors charged them all with “felony rioting”, a nonexistent crime in Washington DC. The prosecution then launched a sweeping investigation into the defendants’ lives, demanding vast amounts of online information through secret warrants.

Prosecutors eventually dropped a few defendants, like journalists and legal observers, but simultaneously increased the charges against everyone else. The most recent indictment collectively charged more than 200 people with felony rioting, felony incitement to riot, conspiracy to riot, and five property-damage crimes – all from broken windows.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:00 pm

Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed – in pictures

A new exhibition positions Edvard Munch as a revolutionary whose personal tragedies peppered his work, and made him more than a symbolist scream

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 8:00 pm

Rose Wylie: 'I want to be known for my paintings – not because I'm old'

She didn’t get her break until her 70s, but the world now can’t get enough of Rose Wylie’s blissfully unruly paintings. On the eve of her solo Serpentine show, the artist shows our writer round her Kent cottage – then dabs her down with turps

A lot has changed for Rose Wylie since Germaine Greer first praised her vast and blissfully unruly paintings in the Guardian seven years ago. Then the late-blooming artist was a new discovery and her unsold, unstretched canvases were stacked from floor to ceiling in the 17th-century Kent cottage that’s been her home for 50 years. When I arrange to meet her there, just before her new solo show opens at the Serpentine Sackler this month, I worry that there won’t be anything to see.

Over leftover birthday cake – Wylie has just turned 83 – she says that when it comes to the day-to-day business of creating drawings and paintings, little has altered. “I have the same carpenter making the stretchers. I put the glue on myself and cut the canvas. Everything is the same. They just used to pile up. Now they don’t.”

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:00 pm

Too right it's Black Friday: our relentless consumption is trashing the planet | George Monbiot

Growth must go on – it’s the political imperative everywhere, and it’s destroying the Earth. But there’s no way of greening it, so we need a new system

Everyone wants everything – how is that going to work? The promise of economic growth is that the poor can live like the rich and the rich can live like the oligarchs. But already we are bursting through the physical limits of the planet that sustains us. Climate breakdown, soil loss, the collapse of habitats and species, the sea of plastic, insectageddon: all are driven by rising consumption. The promise of private luxury for everyone cannot be met: neither the physical nor the ecological space exists.

Related: UK environment department using 1,400 disposable coffee cups a day

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:00 pm

Britain’s colonial crimes deserve a lasting memorial. Here’s why | Afua Hirsch

Our nation must confront the inconvenient facts of its history rather than glorious versions of an imperial past. That’s why we need a museum of empire

The trouble with the English, remarked Salman Rushdie in typically apt fashion, is that they don’t know their history, because so much of it happened overseas. And so the island status that motivated Britain’s imperial story in the first place has helped us distance ourselves from all aspects of that story.

There is the way, for instance, that the empire was built and sustained. From the Norman conquest of Ireland in the 12th century, the English began imagining themselves as the new Romans, persuading themselves they were as duty-bound to civilise “backward” tribes as they were destined to exploit their resources, land and labour.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:00 pm

Why do left-handers excel at certain elite sports but not others?

Data suggests being left-handed is a particular advantage in sports where time pressures are particularly severe, such as baseball, cricket and table tennis

From cricketer Wasim Akram to baseball pitcher Clayton Kershaw and table tennis star Ding Ning, the world of sport has no shortage of left-handed players. But now researchers say they’ve worked out why lefties are overrepresented in some elite sports but not others.

The study, published in the journal Biology Letters, suggests that being left-handed is a particular advantage in interactive sports where time pressures are particularly severe, such as table tennis and cricket – possibly because their moves are less familiar to their mostly right-handed opponents, who do not have time to adjust.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 6:30 pm

'I fear a German Trump': Merkel's struggles lead to thoughts of what next

Some in Berlin see Angela Merkel as the calm hand that Germany needs and are unsettled by the prospect of new elections

Petra Leitholdt was far from enthusiastic about the prospect of new elections in Germany. “It’s just a waste of time, energy and resources,” the 51-year-old said, standing on the bustling market square of Hermannplatz in the Neukölln district of Berlin.

“I for one wouldn’t vote any differently than I did on September 24. I weighed up my options then and would make the same decision if there was another vote. But I think Angela Merkel will come out on top again anyway, although maybe strengthened.”

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 6:00 pm

End to Mugabe rule: other autocratic leaders may fear similar fate

As jubilation erupts in the streets at the resignation of Zimbabwe’s president how will the downfall affect the rulers of Uganda, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi?

The fate of Robert Mugabe, who ran Zimbabwe with iron discipline for more than 30 years, will send a chill down the spines of other autocratic African leaders who may have out-stayed their welcome.

General Constantino Chiwenga, the armed forces chief, kicked away the military prop supporting Mugabe’s presidency last week. Mass protests in Harare, Bulawayo and other cities showed the president had lost popular support. On Tuesday, Mugabe’s party comrades began the process of impeaching him, leading finally to his long overdue resignation.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 4:57 pm

Doctors 'overprescribe drugs due to fears of facing complaints'

Survey suggests four-fifths of medics who have been subject of complaint or litigation start practising more ‘defensive medicine’

Patients are being put at risk because doctors are giving them drugs they do not need and sending them for unnecessary surgery to avoid a complaint being made against them, research has revealed.

Medics are so scared of being complained about that they are also giving patients more tests than their symptoms merit and not performing procedures that involve more risk than usual.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 1:05 pm

Government backs down over EU human rights to avoid risk of defeat

Tories agree to work with rebel MP Dominic Grieve over keeping rights under EU law after Brexit

Ministers have sought to see off a potential rebellion by Conservative MPs that could have brought a first defeat over the EU withdrawal bill by partially backing down on the future status of EU human rights measures in UK law.

Following another day of debate about the bill, which seeks to transpose EU statute into UK law post-Brexit, the government faced possible defeat over amendments intended to maintain the scope of the EU charter on fundamental rights.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 10:35 am

Electoral Commission documents reveal more details on Vote Leave donations

Election watchdog reopens investigation into Vote Leave’s payments to a fashion student who then spent large sums with social media marketing firm

Fresh detail has emerged from the investigation into whether Vote Leave breached a £7m spending limit during the referendum campaign by donating £625,000 to a fashion student.

The Electoral Commission has noted, in documents seen by the Guardian, that Darren Grimes, who was 23 at the time, was apparently able to coordinate large sums to be spent with a social media marketing firm before receiving official confirmation of the amounts Vote Leave were intending to give him.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 10:22 am

Britain’s diminished role after the Brexit vote | Letters

Alex Orr, Elaine Bagshaw, Peter Lyth and others look at Britian’s future after Brexit

In recent days the UK’s standing in the world has further diminished as the impacts of Brexit become more tangible. Earlier this week the relocation of two EU agencies currently based in London was announced. The European Medicines Agency will move to Amsterdam, while the European Banking Authority will be lost to Paris, which narrowly pipped Dublin to host this prestigious organisation (London loses EU agencies to Paris and Amsterdam in Brexit relocation, 21 November). Between them, the two agencies employ 1,150 people, as well as attracting thousands of visiting researchers and staff members to London. This is despite Brexit secretary David Davis previously voicing his hope that the agencies could remain in London, or at least form part of the negotiations. To add insult to injury, the UK will have to pay for the relocation.

In addition, the UK has withdrawn its candidate from election to the UN international court of justice (Report, 21 November). Britain will not have a judge on the UN’s most powerful court for the first time in its 71-year history. Last week, after five rounds of voting by the security council and the general assembly in New York, four judges from Brazil, Lebanon, France and Somalia were chosen for the bench ahead of the UK’s candidate, Christopher Greenwood. The UK’s failure to guarantee a place on the court of an organisation it helped to found is clearly a further sign of its increasing irrelevance on the world stage following the decision to leave the EU. As the UK turns inwards following the Brexit vote, it is hardly a surprise that it is no longer able to command the global influence it once did.
Alex Orr

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:30 am

Francis Crick Institute's £700m building 'too noisy to concentrate'

Some of the 1,250 people working at the year-old laboratory say its open plan layout, designed to produce collaboration, makes it hard to focus on work

It is a £700m cathedral to biomedical science, where scientists work together to make breakthroughs in cancer, neuroscience, pandemics and genetics. But the Francis Crick Institute is not proving to be the easiest place to concentrate.

A year after opening, some of the 1,250 people working at the Crick Institute, in its central London laboratory, have complained that the open plan design, intended to assist informal collaboration, means some areas set aside for thinking and writing up research are too noisy.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:18 am

Hundreds of rough sleepers in Manchester to be offered homes

Social impact bond backs Andy Burnham’s pledge to eradicate local homelessness with cash for 270 homes and support plan

At least 200 of Greater Manchester’s most entrenched rough sleepers will be given new homes, and the support needed to stay in them, after a £1.8m grant from an ethical investment fund.

Under the scheme, financed by the social impact bond, 15 of Greater Manchester’s housing providers, as well as two private-rented sector partners, have offered 270 properties for homeless people. The plan forms part of the new Greater Manchester Homes Partnership.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 7:17 am

Comedy in a care home: the standups taking slapstick into new territory

The residents were expecting bingo. Instead they got lessons in strawberry spitting, a Railway Children spoof – and a stuntman stripping to his underpants

Monday afternoon is usually bingo time at the Madelayne Court care home, in the village of Broomfield, near Chelmsford. So today’s activity comes as a surprise to many comfortably seated residents: striding on stage in front of them is former Neighbours actor Nathan Lang – he’s dressed as a stuntman and preparing to leap through a hoop he’s pretending is on fire.

“You’ve lost it!” hollers one elderly spectator, and Lang does look momentarily perplexed. How do you deal with hecklers here?

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 5:52 am

From liberation fighter to deposed leader – Robert Mugabe's life in pictures

Mugabe, who stood down on Tuesday, had been in power since April 1980, when the country previously known as Rhodesia was renamed Zimbabwe. He was credited with freeing Zimbabwe from colonialism and white minority rule but had faced years of criticism for building a dictatorship and mismanaging the economy

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 5:52 am

US telecoms regulator unveils sweeping plans to dismantle net neutrality

The top US telecoms regulator has unveiled sweeping plans to overturn Obama-era rules designed to protect an open internet.

Related: Tim Berners-Lee on the future of the web: 'The system is failing'

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 5:35 am

The 'masculine mystique' – why men can't ditch the baggage of being a bloke

Far from embracing the school run, most men are still trapped by rigid cultural notions of being strong, dominant and successful. Is it leading to an epidemic of unhappiness similar to the one felt by Betty Friedan’s 50s housewives?

Back in the 90s, it was all going to be so different. Not for our generation the lopsided approach of our parents, with their quaint postwar notions of father-breadwinners and mother-homemakers. We would be equal; interchangeable. Our young women would run companies, embassies, hospitals and schools, while our young men, no slouches themselves, would punctuate their careers with long, halcyon spells dandling babies and teaching toddlers how to make tiny volcanoes out of vinegar and baking soda.

That equality would have formidable knock-on effects. The gender pay gap would narrow. Sexual harassment wouldn’t disappear, but decoupling professional power from gender would do a lot to erase it from the workplace.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 5:07 am

Graduate in £1m claim was badly let down by Oxford, court told

Lawyer for Faiz Siddiqui, who alleges ‘inadequate’ teaching stunted his career, says low 2:1 was ‘huge disappointment’

An Oxford graduate is suing the university for £1m on the grounds that his failure to get a top degree 17 years ago cost him the chance of a lucrative legal career.

Faiz Siddiqui alleges the “inadequate” teaching he received on the Indian special subject part of his modern history course resulted in him getting only a low upper second degree when he took his finals in June 2000 instead of a first or high 2:1.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 4:57 am

What's the one New Year's resolution you kept - and how did you manage it?

Whether you decided to spend more time with family or drink less, we’d like to know about the one resolution you stuck with this year

We often have good intentions when making a New Year’s resolution. We hope this will be the year we give up smoking, lose weight or be less stressed. Most of the time we don’t manage it, however sometimes there are reasons why we have to make changes to our lives. We’d like to hear from those of you who have managed to keep your New Year’s resolution during 2017.

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 4:31 am

Can councils stop bookmakers’ push into poor areas? Don’t bet on it | Nell Lewis

Local authorities feel powerless to prevent the rise of betting shops and fixed odds machines, even when they refuse planning permission

In the runup to Christmas, Bradford’s imposing city centre is littered with festive lights. They give a little cheer to a somewhat run-down Victorian shopping district dominated by building societies, banks, charity shops, and, more recently, a growing concentration of betting shops. There are 11 in barely a 250m radius, with the corner of Broadway and Bank Street the epicentre: a William Hill, a Paddy Power, a Ladbrokes and another William Hill are all next to each other.

Related: The Tories don’t have the guts to scrap fixed-odds betting terminals | Dawn Foster

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 2:00 am

What's your reaction to the political situation in Germany?

Angela Merkel has failed to create a coalition government. We’d like you to share your thoughts and hopes for the future of Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel has failed to forge a coalition between her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU), the pro-business FDP and the Green party, following federal elections at the end of September.

Related: German coalition talks collapse after deadlock on migration and energy

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Posted on 22 November 2017 | 12:22 am

City: the remarkable urban photographs of David Levene - video

Award-winning photographer David Levene has revealed an unparalleled cross-section of the urban 21st century over more than a decade documenting how people live and work in 70 cities. From east to west, using archive and never-before-seen images, we hear the story behind three of the most moving photographs in his new book - from Yangon in Myanmar, Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia​ ​and​ Calais in France​ - and follow him back to his birthplace as he hunts for the final picture

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 11:00 pm

Street art in Medellín, Colombia – in pictures

Photographer Juancho Torres tours the streets of Comuna 13 in the once notorious city, capturing the graffiti and murals that adorn buildings and walls

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 8:48 pm

Ruined temples and forgotten places: historic photographer of the year – in pictures

The first historic photographer of the year awards showcase the world’s very best historic places and cultural sites from across the globe, capturing everything from the most famous national treasures to obscure and forgotten hidden gems. Here, the photographers tell the stories behind their pictures

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 8:00 pm

After the liberation of Mosul, an orgy of killing

In the dying days of the battle of Mosul, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad followed Iraqi soldiers during the last push against Isis. But following their victory, a new wave of savagery was unleashed

One hot and sticky evening in July, in the dying days of the battle for Mosul, a group of Iraqi army officers sat for dinner in a requisitioned civilian house not far from the ruins of the mosque where, three years earlier, the leader of Islamic State had announced the creation of a new caliphate.

At the head of the table sat the commander, large and burly, flanked by his two majors. The rest of the officers were seated according to rank, with the youngest officers placed at the far end. The commander, who was trying to lose weight, had banned his cook from serving meat at mealtimes, but tonight was a special occasion. The day before, his unit had liberated another block of streets in the Old City without suffering any casualties. In celebration, a feast of bread soaked in okra stew, and roasted meat shredded over heaps of rice flavoured with nuts and raisins, was laid out on a white plastic table.

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 7:00 pm

Why is first Ashes day-night Test and pink ball a big deal? – video explainer

When Australia host England at the Adelaide Oval on 2 December it will be the first day-night Test in an Ashes series. But just what are day-night Tests all about and why do they use a pink ball? Here we reveal all

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 7:21 am

What's it like being LGBT in Turkey? Share your stories

LGBTI events have been banned in Turkey. If you’re in the country, we’d like you to share your reaction and experiences

LGBTI cultural events have been banned in Turkey, with officials citing threats to “public order” and the fear of “provoking reactions within certain segments of society”.

The Ankara governor’s office said on Sunday night that it was imposing a ban on all LGBTI cultural events until further notice, days after it banned a German-language gay film festival in the capital city.

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 4:28 am

Aid workers and sexual harassment: share your experiences

As allegations of abuse come to light concerning the UN and charities, we want to hear your stories of working in the humanitarian sector

Allegations of sexual harassment and abuse have hit Hollywood and politicians, and the #MeToo movement has gathered momentum. Now, international charities and humanitarian agencies are coming under scrutiny.

Last week, Save the Children announced it had fired 16 members of staff over reports of sexual harassment in the past year. This follows an announcement by Oxfam that it had dismissed 22 people over similar allegations. Earlier this month the United Nations revealed that it had received 31 new cases alleging sexual abuse or exploitation by UN personnel between July and September. Of these cases, 12 involved military personnel from peacekeeping operations.

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 2:07 am

How have your friendships changed over time?

We’d like to know how your friendships have changed over time – have they grown stronger, dwindled or taken on new roles?

If we map our friendships over time, we’re unlikely to see a straight clear path. Friendships fade, are rekindled and sometimes they are lost forever. We’d like you to share your experiences of friendship and how it’s changed over the years.

A number of studies claim to prove to us what we already feel we know: friendship and connectedness are important for human wellbeing. According to a new study, as we age, friends become increasingly important to health and happiness. And supportive friendships were found to be a stronger predictor of wellbeing than strong family connections.

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 1:10 am

Why have young people's attitudes to alcohol and drugs changed? Share your thoughts

Smoking and drinking among young people is at lowest level on record. We’d like you to tell us what you think about the change in trends

Young people in England born since the turn of the century are the most clean-living generation in recent times, with the rates of those choosing to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol the lowest on record.

But secondary school children in England are now more likely to have tried illegal drugs than cigarettes, according to NHS Digital. 24% of 11-15-year-olds report having tried illegal recreational drugs at least once, a nine percentage point rise on the last survey, in 2014.

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 1:08 am

'An absolute shambles': readers on the Irish border and Brexit

We asked citizens in the Irish republic and Northern Ireland how they felt the issue of a border can be rectified in Brexit talks

Ireland has said it will block progress of Brexit negotiations in December, unless the UK give a formal written guarantee there will be no hard border with Northern Ireland.

Related: The Guardian view on Brexit and the Irish border: Britain’s shameful dereliction | Editorial

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Posted on 21 November 2017 | 12:16 am

Gorgeous creatures of NYC Downlow captured in 3D – in pictures

Artist Kate Bones combines film and digital technology to create vibrant gif portraits – like these from Glastonbury’s gay nightclub

Kate Bones shoots her subjects on a hacked 1980s 3D film camera and brings them alive as animated gifs. These portraits taken earlier this year at Glastonbury’s NYC Downlow, the festival’s gay nightclub, give a close-up view of performers usually only photographed on stage.

A warehouse-warming party for the new London home of the cult club’s creators, Block9, will be held on 9-10 December at the Silver Building. The event will also raise money for LGBT frontline charities All Out and Kaleidoscope Trust as well as the Disasters Emergency Committee’s east Africa appeal.

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Posted on 20 November 2017 | 8:30 pm

Charles Manson – a life in pictures

Charles Milles Manson, the leader of a band of hippie followers known as the Manson Family who committed a string of murders in California in the late 1960s, has died aged 83

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Posted on 20 November 2017 | 8:08 pm

Hamleys Christmas toy parade – in pictures

Regent Street in central London is lined with people watching the annual Hamleys toy parade, featuring a marching cast of children’s characters, entertainers, elves, bands, floats and flying balloons

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Posted on 20 November 2017 | 6:29 am

Housing, tax, pensions: what are your hopes for the the autumn budget?

We’d like to hear about the policies that you’d like to see in Wednesday’s budget and how you think they could affect your situation

John McDonnell set out Labour’s five key demands for the budget on Thursday, focusing on ending austerity in public services and outlining his fears about possible funding shortages in housing, health, and law and order.

Related: End austerity in public services, John McDonnell tells chancellor

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Posted on 18 November 2017 | 12:00 am

Be very afraid … robots can now do backflips - video

Not content with simply walking or carrying objects, Atlas, made by the robotics firm Boston Dynamics, can now jump across gaps, jump and spin 180°, and – most impressive of all – it can backflip, even using its arms to balance after landing just like a real gymnast

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Posted on 17 November 2017 | 11:35 pm

A mission for journalism in a time of crisis

In a turbulent era, the media must define its values and principles, writes Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner

‘No former period, in the history of our Country, has been marked by the agitation of questions of a more important character than those which are now claiming the attention of the public.” So began the announcement, nearly 200 years ago, of a brand-new newspaper to be published in Manchester, England, which proclaimed that “the spirited discussion of political questions” and “the accurate detail of facts” were “particularly important at this juncture”.

Now we are living through another extraordinary period in history: one defined by dazzling political shocks and the disruptive impact of new technologies in every part of our lives. The public sphere has changed more radically in the past two decades than in the previous two centuries – and news organisations, including this one, have worked hard to adjust.

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Posted on 17 November 2017 | 8:00 am

Joseph Stiglitz on why Trump is unfit to be US president - video

The economist and author of Globalisation and its Discontents talks to the Guardian's Larry Elliott about why he considers Donald Trump unfit to be US president. He says stagnant incomes, the opioid crisis and falling life expectancies all pointed towards a political problem in the US but no one imagined it leading to a Trump presidency

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Posted on 17 November 2017 | 3:30 am

What's your reaction to the events in Zimbabwe?

If you’re in Zimbabwe, or are a Zimbabwean national, we’d like you to share your thoughts on the political situation

Robert Mugabe has resigned as president of Zimbabwe in an announcement made during a parliamentary hearing to impeach him. Tens of thousands of people joined in a rally in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Saturday morning after the military in Zimbabwe took control of the country on Wednesday to “target criminals” around the president. We’d like you to share your reaction to the latest events.

After seizing state TV, army spokesman Maj Gen SB Moyo announced it was targeting people close to Mr Mugabe who had caused “social and economic suffering”, saying Mugabe and his family were “safe and sound and their security is guaranteed”.

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Posted on 15 November 2017 | 10:35 pm

In depth: how millennials are making their way in a new and different world

Even if they could follow in the footsteps of their parents, young adults today have other ideas – driving political change, volunteering, and creating new kinds of community. A different set of priorities have emerged as the ‘new normal’

Earlier this year, while reflecting on the current economic situation during an interview with the television programme 60 Minutes in Australia, the luxury property developer Tim Gurner noted that you were never going to be able to afford to buy your first home when you were spending “$40 a day on smashed avocado and coffees”.

Gurner elaborated, saying that he’d only accrued his vast wealth by getting into the gym at 6am in the morning and working until 10.30pm at night. We see this kind of thinking all the time. If only young people could stop it with their coffees and their social media and their partying, then maybe they’d actually be able to get on and do the things that older generations did: get a job, get married, buy a house. Never mind the fact that, in the UK, house prices have tripled in the past 20 years; or that the average price of a house in London has risen from £55,000 in 1986 to £489,000.

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Posted on 7 November 2017 | 5:01 am

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Posted on 3 September 2015 | 2:21 am